It has been just over year since MultiChoice Talent Factory’s Class of 2019 Esther Beukes, Sally Jason and Toivo Ashivuudhi left the prestigious MTF Academy in Zambia. All three agree that the Academy has offered them opportunities in the African creative industry unlike any other.
Jason has continued her venture into radio and is currently working for Namibia’s first talk radio station, Eagle FM. “I’m also assisting upcoming filmmakers in helping put their projects together for investments to fund their projects,” she added. Aside from this, she is a talent manager for Namibian award-winning superstar, Sally Boss Madam.
“MTF has opened doors for me to use the skills to help other filmmakers package their work professionally for broadcast,” Jason continued. “Going to MTF, I went with the mindset that I am a platform for my country and that I owe it to the industry to give back as I believe that is my purpose in life.”
Advice from the Academy’s mentors became quite valuable to Jason, and she particularly remembers fond memories from Channel Head for Zambezi Magic, Mosibudi Pheeha. “She was passionate about the role we play to African audiences and she emphasized how new and fresh stories can be told in the most honest and authentic voice.”
As for Beukes, she became an associate producer for the Zambian hit series Zuba during the production of its third season. “I was able to get an interview with the producers of the show after interning on the productions during my time at MTF,” she said.
With the knowledge she has gained, Beukes also has plans of her own. “I was able to work with students from around Southern Africa to help me create my short film which is currently in post-production.”
Her focus may have shifted to her film; however, she hopes to create more opportunities for Namibian filmmakers to collaborate with others across the continent and grow her network.
Toivo, a passionate animator, has evolved into a creative director at the Elegant Media Group and directing lecturer at the College of the Arts. “On top of my qualification in 3D Animation and Visual Effects which I obtained from Multimedia University in Malaysia, the MTF programme enhanced my recognition in the industry as an expert in the field, ushering opportunities for me to share my skills as a facilitator to the new MTF intake in Lusaka, Zambia,” he said. “I got an opportunity to facilitate on the introduction to 3D animation and visual effects course.”
Describing his fellow cohorts as “family”, Toivo’s experience at the MTF opened doors to the film industry. “I was able to learn from Zambezi Magic producers and make friends with a few, creating a platform and chance for future co-productions and collaborations.”
Even though the alumni have created networks across the industry, they’re still keeping it in the family as two of the MTF cohorts are working together. “I am currently co-producing a short film with my brother in art, Toivo and we are currently in the development phase looking for funds,” Jason announced. “I’m also in collaboration with filmmakers who are developing an app to showcase Namibian content.”
MultiChoice Namibia encourages all Namibian creatives to register on the MTF Portal in order to have to access to free online masterclasses, showcase their skills and network with over 29 000 creatives from across the continent.
We currently have the Produce Like A Pro masterclass series on the MTF Portal and will be adding more such as the 20/20 Webinar Series by our partner, the New York Film Academy and other masterclasses by industry gurus on Storytelling, Pitching, Documentary etc. In the next week, we will be launching 20 short films by the MTF West Africa Class of 2020 students aptly called “Isolation Diaries’ which portray their fears and hopes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The MTF program not only equips you with technical skills and production knowledge, but it also renders a platform for the first-hand experience on real sets,” Toivo urged. “You will have an opportunity to learn from experts in the industry and from other creatives from different countries.”
Jason agreed, stating: “This opportunity is a jumpstart, to give you a year of harnessing your skill on Africa’s biggest platform and it will give you a huge confidence boost along with the opportunity to network.”